Friday, November 07, 2008


By Jennie Bentley

OK, so I’m gonna take the easy way out this week. It’s been kind of crazy around here, between the book release on Tuesday, the couple of guest blogs I’ve been doing—there’s one on Fresh Fiction today, if anyone wants to stop by and say hello—getting going on book 3, and all the other stuff that’s been going on. When you’re reading this, I’m either on my way to, in the middle of, on my way home from, or sitting in front of the TV watching, my first TV interview. It’s airing/aired on Nashville’s Channel 4 at 12:30 Central time today, and as I’m writing this, I’m terribly nervous, although I’m trying not to think about it.

So “Fatal Fixer-Upper” hit the stores on Tuesday morning, and DH and I hit the stores on Tuesday morning, too, to make sure it was there. Here are a couple of pictures:

Me with the display at Barnes & Noble—someone really needs to invent a way to remove double chins from pictures, the same way you can remove red-eye—me with the marvellous Erika, and me with the shelf at Borders. The whole idea behind picking a pseudonym in the B’s was to get high up on the shelves, so people wouldn’t have to stoop to find the book, but I guess there are so many of us with the same idea that “Fatal Fixer-Upper” still ended up on the bottom. The books were there, though, which is the important thing.

I have two new reviews this week: this one in the Nashville Scene, calling my book “harmless fun” with “prose that is nothing if not accessible,” which I take to mean so simple a first-grader can read it, and this one in the Cozy Library, that’s so beautiful and complimentary it brought tears to my eyes.


My editor at Berkley sent me the back cover copy for DIY#2, which will be coming out in August. This is it:

Avery Baker was once a New York designer, but inheriting her aunt’s old Maine cottage has led her down a new career path in home renovation. Finding a property’s hidden potential has rewards and challenges—especially when a mystery surfaces behind the walls...

Home renovation is never easy, especially when the home's inhabitants are dead. Avery’s hunky boyfriend and business partner, Derek Ellis, wants to flip a seriously stigmatized ranch house where murder occurred two decades ago. It’s a good thing Avery has more faith in her boyfriend than in ghosts.

Their renovations are quickly interrupted when a presence is felt--and it’s not happy with the new alterations. Could it really be that the property is possessed? If they’re going to flip this house, all the outdated fixtures—including the supernatural squatters—must be disposed of, or else this project will haunt them forever…

I’m pretty happy with it. Now all we have to do is find a good title, since the book can’t go to print being called DIY#2. I came up with “Haunted House Homicide” (shades of Scooby-Doo). My agent likes “Bones in the Basement” (shades of Nancy Drew). Berkley suggested “A Skeleton in the Crawlspace” (gives away too much of the story, I think) or “Spooked and Spackled.” I love the last one, but I’m open to suggestions. If you have any, feel free to share.

Meanwhile, I’m starting DIY#3, which actually does have a title. “Home for the Homicide,” courtesy of my ITW debut buddy, the brilliant Kelli Stanley. It’s December in Waterfield, and Avery and Derek are turning an old carriage house into a romantic retreat for two, before Kate’s and Wayne’s wedding on New Year’s Eve. But then Kate’s ex shows up, and ends up dead. I haven’t figured out who killed him yet, or why, but I’m working on it. I have four months—three and three weeks now—to get it done and turned in to my editor. No problem...

So that’s what’s been going on with me this week. What about you?


Tory said...

Congratulations, Jennie, what an exciting week for you!

I LOVE the back cover copy and I vote for "Spooked and Spackled."

In terms of the double chin remover, I'm all over it. I hate my chin. It was double even in the days before I was overweight.

I have reconciled myself to the fact I take horrible pictures, but I'm sure if I ever do get a book published, despite the excitement my release week will bring, it will be a trial seeing photos of myself.

Carla Buckley said...


Let's see. You need a reason to kill off an "ex"? Wonder if I can come up with anything.

And I love Spooked and Spackled, too. Any other titles out there with the word "spackled" in it?

I thought so. :)

Joyce said...

I love the title "Spooked and Spackled!"

I highly recommend Fatal Fixer-Upper. I especially liked the fact that Avery was smart. I've gotten really tired of TSTL heroines and was so happy to see that Avery is NOT one of them! Go to and buy it now.

I've been told that if you elongate your neck and push your chin forward it will eliminate double chins in photos. I think it might just make a person look like a giraffe with a stiff neck.

Wilfred Bereswill said...

I'm excited for you Jennie. I know how that "First Book" is. To get your first box of books, then to see it on the shelves and then to have a line of people to sign for.

It makes all the hard work pay off.

Jennie Bentley said...

Thanks for the kind words, y'all. It's almost 8 o'clock in Nashville, and I'm on my way out the door to the TV station. The interview gets taped at nine. I'll check back later!

Annette said...

Congrats, Jennie. I'm so happy for you. And I look forward to reading your book.

And add my vote to the Spooked and Spackled list.

Jennie Bentley said...

I'm back. The interview got taped at 10, not 9, but since it was only 5 minutes long, it didn't take much time. I guess it went OK, except for the first question, which took me totally by surprise. I have no idea what she asked. So I sat there for five or six seconds, blinking, until the anchor started looking concerned and it occurred to me that I should say something. Anything. So I described the book, and things picked up after that. It was a nice plug for the signing on Tuesday, and for the book; less so for me as a future TV personality. Oh, well...

Kelli Stanley said...

YAY, Jennie!! :) I'm so excited for FFU!!

I like Spooked and Spackled, too, since it continues the Halloween theme. And I can't think of anything with "ranch" in the title ... except "Secret of Shadow Ranch" which Nancy Drew already used (drat the girl!) ;)

I know you were terrific on TV!! Time seems to stretch in live interviews, but only to you--not the audience. :)

Congratulations on it all, sweetie!! :)

Jennie Bentley said...

Thanks, darling! You're always such a good encourager...!